Surviving the Olympic Games as a Travelling Athlete

I feel privileged and excited to be chosen to answer questions on a panel for the Olympic Games. The panel provides a a platform for athletes from all over the world to ask a Sports Dietitian questions. Many of my answers to the athletes will be reviewed by a sports journalist and perhaps written up in her articles for circulation to the athletes.

You may remember my  article in Runner’s World (International),  April 2009 that brought lots of glory to Optimal Nutrition for Life (aka “me”, “Ilana”) … That article was so well received that the same journalist asked me to be on this panel.  I am extremely proud to report that she really admires and respects my work ethic with respect to answering her requests right away; my credentials; my sense of humour and candor for recreational journalism like this ;-). She has used my expertize for many articles that make up my current portfolio.

This blog was thus inspired by some of the athletes’ questions I answered. Many questions had to do with being fed the same old food at the hostels where they were staying and the challenge of having access to sports appropriate food. Many of them gave me their typical breakfasts prior to long training days.  I was blown away by the lack of knowledge on sports nutrition at that elite level of athleticism.  I thus decided to post this article I wrote for my own traveling athletes (mmm… not too many of mine are in these Vancouver games, but can all relate to some extent to what a challenge traveling for sport can be) …

Hopefully this blog can in some way inspire the athlete in all of us. It is also meant for us to perhaps realize some of the “behind the scenes”  challenges  for Olympic athletes besides their intense level of training and competition. So enjoy, be inspired, and may some of these tips come in handy one day if you too have to travel, whether it be as an Olympic athlete , an elite athlete, a recreational athlete, or even just as a relaxing vacationer  who does not want to blow your  body composition goals just because you are traveling…

Here is the article: Sports Nutrition Tips for Travelling Athletes

Another article you might be interested in: What should I eat before each training run?

5 Responses to “Surviving the Olympic Games as a Travelling Athlete”

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  1. wayne says:

    Great travel tips. Thx. One of your points (protein powder) is well taken and often not thought of. I would like your recommendations based on quality and value. Lots to choose from at GNC and grocery chains. As a traveler it would be relatively easy to pack and incorporate into my optimal enery portfolio.

    Appreciate your recommendations


  2. larni says:

    Whey proteins have a Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score (PDCAAS) of 1.14. The reported score is 1.0, which is the maximum value allowed by the USDA for reporting purposes. The PDCAAS is the USDA’s officially approved method of scoring protein quality.
    Another method used to measure protein quality is the Protein Efficiency Ratio (PER). Whey proteins have a PER of 3.2, making it one of the highest single source proteins. The PER rating is based upon the evaluation of the growth of animals consuming a fixed amount of dietary protein from a single source. As the PER increases, so does the quality of the protein.
    Biological Value (BV), another measure of protein quality, measures the amount of protein that is retained from the absorbed protein for maintenance and growth. It measure's the fraction of the nitrogen in the diet that remains after the nitrogen losses in the waste products have been subtracted. Whey proteins have a biological value of 100, which is higher than the value for casein (milk protein), soy protein, beef, or wheat gluten.

  3. larni says:

    There are other sources of protein powders as mentioned are egg protein, soy, hempe, – I won't get too detailed about these, as whey isolate scores higher… (unless you need an alternative due to some disorder, or very very sensitive intolerance to lactose, etc…)

    Brands vary in waulity depending on – :
    The composition of whey protein products will vary based upon several factors including:
    Source of the Milk, Method of Production, Type of Cheese Being Produced (Caesin is the separation from the curds in milk protein), Individual Manufacturer Specifications
    I personally love Designer whey as a product for its quality and value. Other decent ones are EAS, Myoplex (they are a little more "chalky" than designer whey. I also like Pure Protein brand – but tis slightly more chalky thandesigner whay (not as much as EAS) – also tastes great – of course taste is an individual factor though 😉

    hopethese posts help answer your question ____ ILANA

  4. larni says:

    Hi Wayne

    My recommendations are to find a whey protein isolate. There are many types of protein, but research is saying that whey isolate is one of the most digestible and complete ones. Whey is made from the proteins of milk (casein and whey) (Whey proteins are high quality and nutritious dairy proteins. )
    Whey protein isolate is the purest form of whey protein and contains between 90 to 95% protein. It contains little (if any) fat or lactose. Whey protein concentrate is available in a number of different types based upon the protein content of the product, which can range between 25%-89%. It will contain some lactose, fat, and minerals. As the protein level increases the amount of lactose decreases. Whey protein concentrate at an 80% protein content is the form most readily available as a protein powder supplement.
    This is based upon several different methods that are used today to evaluate protein quality. No matter which method is used, whey proteins have been proven to be an excellent, pure source of protein!

  5. wayne says:

    Wow, a wealth of information. Thanks. What a "wheyt" off my mind. 🙂